“That’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard”: Stan Lee’s Teenage Superhero Idea Was Ridiculed by Marvel, 61 Years Later Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is $8.5B Franchise

For the past two decades, Stan Lee’s Spider-Man has been a fan-favorite character. While fans got multiple versions of the character over the years, one thing has remained the same: the down-to-earth friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

One of the main reasons why the character is so popular is that the fans get to relate to the character. Peter Parker is a normal teenager, with normal problems. But what if we told you Marvel initially hated the idea of Spider-Man being a teenager? The man who is credited for the success of Marvel, Stan Lee, once explained that his publisher hated the idea of Spider-Man being a teenager back in the 1960s.

Marvel initially didn’t like the idea of Spider-Man

Stan Lee
Stan Lee

In 2015, Stan Lee appeared for an interview with BBC Radio 4 in order to promote his memoir, Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir. During the interview, Lee explained that his publisher didn’t like Spider-Man,

“My publisher said, in his ultimate wisdom, ‘Stan, that is the worst idea I have ever heard, first of all, people hate spiders… secondly he can’t be a teenager – teenagers can only be sidekicks and third, he can’t have personal problems if he’s supposed to be a superhero – don’t you know who a superhero is?'”

Funnily enough, all these characteristics made Spider-Man a fan-favorite character. Despite his publisher sidelining the idea, Lee did not give up.

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Also read: Sony’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Defies All Odds, Beats $31.3 Billion MCU for Rare Record

How did Spider-Man come into existence?

Spider-Man's first comic appearance
Spider-Man’s first comic appearance

In a 1996 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Stan Lee explained that he liked Spider-Man “because he’s become the most famous.” He further added,

“He’s the one who’s most like me – nothing ever turns out 100 percent OK; he’s got a lot of problems, and he does things wrong, and I can relate to that.”

But how did Spider-Man come into existence if the character was never approved? Well, Stan Lee didn’t give up after the idea was trashed. Lee then got a professional artist to draw the character and snuck Spider-Man into the last issue of the Amazing Fantasy series in 1962. Lee was then approached by his publisher as the character was loved by the fans and the rest is history.

Also read: The Story of Tom Holland Meeting Stan Lee for First Time Revealed

Why is Spider-Man so popular?


Just like Stan Lee explained in his interview, the fans could relate to the character. Stan Lee made sure that fans also get to see the life of the person behind the mask, Peter Parker. The character was just a teenager trying to live a normal life while being the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Over the years, fans got different iterations of the same character, even Miles Morales now, and all of them have proved to be very beneficial for the studios. Unfortunately, the man responsible for all this is not here today to witness the success. Stan Lee passed away on 12 November 2018.

Related: “Stan Lee is forgetting who I am”: Robert Downey Jr Got the Biggest Compliment of His Life for Playing Iron Man After This Emotional Moment With Stan Lee

Source: BBC

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Written by Farhan

Farhan Asif is a content writer at FandomWire. Having published over 250 articles, he has also written over 750 articles for AnimatedTimes. Farhan is currently pursuing Computer Science and likes to go on donation drives for his local NGO on weekends. He also has a close understanding of motorcycles as he previously had his own customization auto shop. Apart from that, you will always find him playing video games during his free time.